Growing up without a father: the therapeutic work with the dyad of a single mother and her child

Ondina Greco*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


In single-parent families, children abandoned by their father before or immediately after their birth, who then bear their mother’s surname, are identified as having an absent father and are identified as lacking this important relationship. Often in these situations mothers, challenged by the absence of their partner from the first months of their child’s life, often tend to try and normalise the situation – in order to avoid re-opening a painful emotional wound for them – yet their children ultimately need to know who their father was and why he left. In the clinical cases to be presented it is shown how during the family therapy with a single mother and child dyad, it is possible to facilitate a process of symbol construction initiated by children which helps them come to understand their family composition and the reason for their father’s absence. That is, in such situations, one of the tasks of family therapy is to ensure that the therapeutic process allows for the inclusion of the absent father, in the first place in the therapeutic dialogue with the dyad, so that over time it can become represented in the child’s psychological world.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-9
Numero di pagine9
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018
Pubblicato esternamente


  • absent father
  • single-parent families


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